Tag Archives: infiltration

Valdosta reports to GA-EPD about two recent sewage spills 2023-12-02

Update 2023-12-20: End date and waterway affected of Valdosta 425,000 gallon sewage spill 2023-12-11.

In Valdosta’s written reports to GA-EPD about a couple of recent sewage spills, we find a few more details. Details that were not in GA-EPD’s Sewage Spills Report or in Valdosta’s press release about the one that had a press release.

The December 4, E. Park Ave. 7,500 gallon spill had no Valdosta press release. The report Valdosta sent GA-EPD says, “CAUSE OF OVERFLOW: Contractor owned/operated pumps for city projects bypass were turned down for unknown reason by contractor. Allowed Infiltration and Inflow to overwhelm system.”

Also, “ CORRECTIVE ACTION TAKEN TO MITIGATE OR TO REDUCE ADVERSE EFFECTS: Central Maintenance Operators directed Contractor to increase pump speed to deal with backup. Pumps at maximum to deal with flow, no issue.”

And, “CORRECTIVE ACTION TAKEN TO PREVENT FUTURE SPILL: Contractor to be counseled on new SOPs for private pump monitoring and usage on City Bypass systems. Any other action TBD.”

And GA-EPD has provided a bit more information beyond that, including willingness to get more precision on spill location and affected waterway from the reporting organization.

[Two Valdosta sewage spill reports to GA-EPD]
Two Valdosta sewage spill reports to GA-EPD

Eddy Basileo of GA-EPD’s Municipal Compliance Unit, Watershed Compliance, Watershed Protection Branch, answered early Monday morning two of the three Georgia Open Records Act (GORA) requests I sent over the weekend. The response included the emails from Valdosta Acting Utilities Director Jason Barnes that delivered those reports to GA-EPD. They read: Continue reading

The rest of the Valdosta wastewater story at SRWMD 2019-02-12

Valdosta Utilities naturally painted as rosy a picture as possible, and newspapers have limited space, so here is the rest of the story about Valdosta wastewater at the Suwannee River Water Management District board meeting last Tuesday. SRWMD Chair Virginia H. Johns understands the stigma, and Board Member Virginia Sanchez spelled it out:

SRWMD Chair Virginia H. Johns

“You don’t want to swim in a little sewage versus a lot of sewage either. Both of them are bad. A spill is bad.”

Featured in this post, drawing from the WWALS videos of all the relevant speakers, are Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse, who talked about the catch basin Valdosta is digging, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, who filled in many pieces omitted by Valdosta and FDEP, and Hamilton County resident Jim McBrayer, who got the attention of the SRWMD board by saying there was E. coli in his well and SRWMD should know where it came from, plus especially the very participatory SRWMD board, who made it pretty clear to FDEP they wanted data by their next meeting, and they wanted Valdosta to move along in fixing their problems in less than a hundred years.

Let’s not forget Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, who pointed out something Valdosta doesn’t want to hear: it’s the stigma of sewage spills that is the big problem they are causing. For sure we need to find out what the specific health and other effects are of Valdosta sewage and other contamination on river water and nearby wells. But the stigma of Valdosta sewage goes far beyond that.

Darryl Muse, Utilities Director, Valdosta

In the WWALS video, Continue reading

Videos: Valdosta Wastewater at SRWMD Board 2019-02-12

Update 2019-02-18: The rest of the Valdosta wastewater story at SRWMD 2019-02-12.

The most direct interaction by the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) Board that I’ve ever seen, yesterday, when Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse came to explain what Valdosta has done and is doing to stop its sewage spills. Neither the board nor the audience seemed satisfied.

[Movie: Darryl Muse, Utilities Director, Valdosta (1458M)]
Movie: Darryl Muse, Utilities Director, Valdosta (1458M)

Stay tuned for another post about some of what was said. Meanwhile, below are links to each WWALS video of each speaker or agenda item, with a few notes. These WWALS videos are under a Creative Commons Attribution license, which means you can use them, provide you cite the source, which is WWALS. There are a few more pictures on the WWALS website. See also the agenda. For background and data, see: Continue reading

Valdosta force main and new WWTP are online and working

The recent rains caused little wastewater overflow, according to Valdosta City Council Tim Carroll, who forwarded cryptic Valdosta press release yesterday and then explained on the telephone what it meant: Map the two biggest pieces of Valdosta’s wastewater and sewer fixes are operational already.

The press release referred to “the new force main” as if it were already in operation, yet nothing on Valdosta’s website says it is. So I called Tim Carroll and he confirmed that yes, the force main is online. Not only that, but 5 million gallons less water than usual for such rains entered the new Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP).

Wait, does that mean the new, uphill, out-of-the-floodplain WWTP is also online? Yes, confirmed Carroll. And the less inflow was due to less INI.

What’s INI, I asked, ignorantly? Continue reading